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How to estimate alfalfa quality in the field using PEAQ

You can estimate alfalfa relative feed value (RFV) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) levels with the Predictive Equations for Alfalfa Quality (PEAQ) system, which gives alfalfa producers a simple way to schedule harvests. A PEAQ stick can be a useful tool when implementing this approach.

How to estimate alfalfa relative feed value (RFV)

This procedure estimates alfalfa RFV of the standing crop. It doesn’t account for changes in quality due to wilting, harvesting and storage. These factors may further lower RFV by 15 to 25 points, assuming good wilting and harvesting conditions.

This procedure is most accurate for good stands of pure alfalfa with healthy growth.

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How to estimate alfalfa neutral detergent fiber (NDF)

This procedure estimates alfalfa NDF content of the standing crop. It doesn’t account for changes in quality due to wilting, harvesting and storage. These factors may further raise NDF content by three to six units, assuming good wilting and harvesting conditions.

This procedure is most accurate for good stands of pure alfalfa with healthy growth.

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    Reviewed in 2018

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